A LATAM flight from South America has landed in Auckland, returning around 60 Kiwis who had been stranded due to the COVID-19 pandemic back into the country.
The Dreamliner landed at 5am and is just one of a handful of flights to land in New Zealand on Wednesday morning.
The flight originated in Lima, Peru and headed to Auckland after a stopover and aircraft change in Santiago, Chile.
With commercial services between New Zealand and South America now suspended due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the Government-chartered repatriation flight was the only way Kiwis could return home.
"We still have a limited number of commercial services to Asia, the Middle East, Australia and the United States, but this was it for South America. So it's great to be able to welcome these New Zealanders back home in these extraordinary times, and we're proud to be playing our part," Scott Tasker, Auckland Airport's aeronautical commercial general manager said.
Just 3500 passengers will pass through Auckland Airport on a daily basis while travel restrictions are in place. That's down from around 58,000 per day at this time last year.
Since February 6, when Air New Zealand's repatriation service from Wuhan arrived in Aotearoa, there have been 30 repatriation flights flying in or out of Auckland Airport.
On Tuesday, Qatar announced it would be operating a repatriation flight out of Christchurch to Paris on April 16.